Susan Raab Simonson, Associate Producer at L.A. Theatre Works, Is Dead at 37

Obituaries   Susan Raab Simonson, Associate Producer at L.A. Theatre Works, Is Dead at 37
Susan Raab Simonson, an associate producer at L.A. Theatre Works, the respected Los Angeles-based company that broadcasts live radio enactments of contemporary and classic plays, died in the early hours of Nov. 27. Her death was reported by her husband, theatre and film director Eric Simonson. She was 37.

L.A. Theatre Works, which was founded in 1974, is best known for its “The Play’s the Thing” series of audio productions. The radio dramas—featuring work by playwrights from Shaw and Noel Coward to David Mamet, Caryl Churchill and David Auburn—are heard 10 times a year and frequently feature leading actors such as Anne Heche, Eric Stoltz, Robert Sean Leonard, Swoosie Kurtz, Hilary Swank, Elaine Stritch, Alec Baldwin, Laura Linney and Roger Rees. Very often, LATW actors recreate roles they originated on the stage.

Ms. Simonson worked on LATW shows in both Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. She helped put together more than 80 productions over seven years, overseeing casting and choice of plays with LATW producing director Susan Loewenberg.

Loewenberg described Susan Raab Simonson as "someone who instinctively knew what was important and what was not, both in her personal and professional life. She was cool; she was sassy; she had great taste and she knew how to relate to artists, from the young and starving to the superstars. Susie was like a daughter to me and I shall miss her every day."

LATW productions have won several awards including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Gold and Silver Awards, three Sony Awards, the Writer's Guild of America's Best Comedy Award and the 1999 Audie Award for Best Dramatic Production from the Audio Publishers Association.

Susan Raab was born May 1, 1969, in Green Brae, Marin County, California. She attended American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, she produced shows in San Francisco by playwrights Marlene Meyer, Nina Beber, Howard Korder and Octavio Solis. Upon moving to Los Angeles, she worked with the Actors Gang before joining L.A. Theatre Works in 1999 In 2004, she married theatre and film director, and playwright, Eric Simonson, whose work includes the New York premieres of The Song of Jacob Zulu and String of Pearls and the Oscar-winning documentary “A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin.” The couple had a son, Henry, the following year.

In addition to her husband and son, Mrs. Simonson is survived her parents Joan and Robert Raab of Marin County, CA; her brothers Steve and Michael; her sister-in-law Julie; nieces Ella and Soskia; and nephew Nicholas.

A memorial will be held at 11 AM Dec. 9 at St. Anslems Church in Ross, Marin County. A second memorial will be held in Los Angeles, details to follow.

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